Gingerbread Cookies from Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats by Marisa Alvarsson are the perfect Christmas treat! These little sweets are terrific for gift giving and they’re a great dessert for holiday parties and Christmas dinner, too.
As a health coach, I guide my clients to follow a healthful diet. It can be challenging for them to stay on track when cravings for desserts strike. I follow a healthy vegan diet myself, but I consider myself to be a chocoholic, so I get it. I always suggest curbing cravings with healthy treats. And Marisa Alvarsson’s new cookbook Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats is here to help.
As you may have guessed from the title, Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats is dedicated to healthy plant-based desserts. The book contains more than 85 recipes, which are all free from refined sugar and artificial sweetener. These treats are sweetened with natural alternatives, such as nuts, spices, vegetables, fruit, maple syrup, and coconut sugar.
Most of the book’s desserts are made with whole-grain flours, and some feature hidden veggies, too. Many have gluten-free options, and of course, all are free from animal products such as eggs, butter, and cows’ milk.
Many people tell me that they know how to cook vegan, but baking can be tricky, since they’re not sure how to replace animal products in treats. Marisa has included lists of egg replaces and dairy alternatives to make things easier. She also includes a list of her favorite natural sweeteners, too.
Quite a lot of the recipes in Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats are great-tasting, healthy vegan versions of classic favorites such as Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting, Gingerbread Cookies, and Veggie Patch Brownies. There are creative new-to-me treats, to, like Pear and Cardamom Pudding, and Saffron & Marzipan Lucia Scrolls, and Banana Kladdkaka.
While you will find plenty of recipes for cakes, pies, and cookies that are perfect for celebrations in Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats, you’ll also find everyday treats such as puddings, muffins, breads, and even scones. Some will feed a crowd, such as the Double Choc Doughnuts, while others are perfect for date night, like the Blueberry Crumble for Two.
Since Marisa was born in London and lives in Sweden, she’s including some European favorites, too. “Hobnots” with Rosemary and Chocolate are inspired by the British favorite Hobnobs. No-Bake Love Yummies are based on the Swedish classic kärleksmums.
There’s a chapter devoted to raw treats, too, which is great for the warm summer months when the last thing anyone wants to do is turn on the oven. Here you’ll learn how to make Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake, Choc-Hazelnut Truffle Bites, Strawberries and Cream Fudge, and much more!
Marisa has also included a chapter of sweet breakfast dishes in the book. Who wouldn’t want to wake up early when Chocolate Cake Batter Waffles, Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Pancakes, or Pull-Apart Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bread is on the menu?
If you prefer to make your own pantry basics rather than purchase them, you’ll love the book’s final chapter. Marisa makes it super easy to whip up your own oat milk, gluten-free pie crust, and chocolate ganache.
- A Sweet Start
- A Little Sweetness Every Day
- Raw and Unbaked
- Plant-Based Pantry
December is here, which means that it’s time for me to start baking for the holidays. Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats has lots of recipes that are suitable for treat boxes and party snacks, and Christmas dessert, such as Gingerbread Cake, Orange & Cranberry-Laced Christmas Cake, Lingonberry Mince Pies, and Plum & Marzipan Tarte Tatin.
I like to give boxes of cookies and truffles as gifts, so I the first recipe I made was the Gingerbread Cookies. I tend to shy away from cookies that need to be rolled and cut out, because it seems like so much work. These cookies were super easy to make though, so I don’t know what I was worried about.
To make Gingerbread cookies, simply mix together the ingredients, chill the dough for a little bit, roll out, and bake! They’re gluten-free, and since they’re vegan, they’re terrific for people for food sensitivities.
If you want to have your naturally-sweetened cake and eat it, too, Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats is the book for you!
- 1 cup (95 g) almond flour
- ½ cup (60 g) buckwheat flour + extra for rolling out dough
- 1 tablespoon (9 g) arrowroot flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon (5 g) ground ginger
- 1½ teaspoon (4 g) ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoon (15 ml) coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup (60 ml) maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon–1 tablespoon (5–15 ml) water, as needed
- Coconut flour, for sprinkling, optional
- Melted chocolate, optional
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Add the oil and syrup and mix until the dough comes together, adding a touch of water if necessary. If your dough feels particularly tacky/sticky, place it in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to firm up a little, otherwise place it directly on a sheet of parchment paper and dust it with a little buckwheat flour.
Roll the dough out flat with a rolling pin to ¼ inch (6 mm) thickness. Cut out as many gingerbread cookie shapes from the sheet of dough as you can. Re-form, re-dust and re-roll the excess dough to cut out extra cookie shapes.
Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking tray. They won’t spread, so they don’t require more than a ½-inch (13-mm) space between each other. Bake the cookies for about 6 minutes or until golden and set in the middle.
Once done, remove the cookies from the baking tray and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
Reprinted with permission from Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats by Marisa Alvarsson, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018.
Other holiday treats you might enjoy include:
I have a copy of Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats for one lucky winner this week. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight on December 11th. U.S. and Canadian residents only, please. Good luck!